Child care is a growing need in all communities across Maryland. And Silver Spring, MD is no different. Within a population of nearly 83,000 residents[i], the 31,712-household strong community has a median age of 35. At that age, many households focus on building their future, and that of their children. This highlights the need for dependable, reliable and affordable options for their children’s early education. And that means young parents and guardians, who typically would want to be part of the growing workforce, eagerly look for child care in Silver Spring.
But how does one choose which child care facility to choose?
Planning your search
In terms of population, Silver Spring is the third largest[ii] (unincorporated) community within Maryland. Given that most parents/guardians, supporting families with young kids, may be employed by institutions and businesses outside their communities, it’s natural to look for child care centers closer to home, as opposed to farther afield. When researching an early childhood care/education facility, it’s important to consider:
- Proximity to home: How far will you have to travel to drop off your child at the center, and pick them up at the end of the day. Silver Springs is close to Washington, DC, where many parents and guardians might work. Work might also require commuting to Silver Springs’ the business hub, and that time and distance must be factored into your search criteria for the ideal child care facility
- Costs: For most families, affordable child care in Silver Spring MD is likely the most important deciding factor, when making child care decisions. Because these costs often represent a significant portion of the family budget, it requires extra diligence to assess them
- Regulatory status: You could entrust your child into the care of a friend or neighbor. However, regardless of how well you know and trust them, the question to as is: Are they qualified to care, nurture, engage with and teach children as professionals in the field would? That’s why, it’s important to choose only a State-licensed care center for your child
- Faculty: Because children, especially between the ages of 2 to 5, are highly impressionable, it’s important to discern why, among the adults they’re surrounded by, influences them. When searching for options for child care in Silver Spring, make sure you pay special attention to the qualifications and experience of the staff and faculty. These will be the individuals who will significantly shape the rest of your child’s lives
If you are leaning towards putting your child in the care of an unlicensed facility, be extra vigilant about doing so. Given the strict guidelines around protecting the health and wellness of the young and vulnerable, parents should exercise additional diligence when making that decision.
All licensed facilities, offering child care in Silver Spring MD, are governed by the Code of Maryland Regulation (COMAR). Mandatory compliance to these rules, for instance, requires background checks for all staff and faculty who provide care to children. This brings peace of mind to parents and guardians when they leave their children at the center. At an unlicensed facility, that level of assurance may not be available.